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21st January 2020

Energy Rating Letting Legislation – are you ready for Environment Regulation Changes?

energy rating

Energy Performance Certificate

Having an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has been a requirement for let properties for some time but, until now, the requirement has really just been to have a valid certificate for the property rather than being concerned with the actual rating.

Currently, it is not permissible to let properties with the lowest energy rating of “G” but this would, in practice, apply to only a very small number of properties and certainly none that we have ever come across in nearly 10 years as letting agents.

From April 2020 though, it will be necessary for rental properties to achieve an EPC rating of at least “E” for any new tenancies and must have a rating of at least “E” in any case by March 2022. This will change to a rating of at least “D” for new tenancies by April 2022 and “D” for all properties by March 2025.

For owners of older properties in particular this may mean that you will need to make some improvements in order to get to the “D” energy rating or better. At a time when costs for landlords have been increasing in other areas it’s easy to look at this as just another reduction in your returns.

It can be looked at as a positive however, as making these improvements will make properties more attractive to tenants and many, such as improved double glazing, will be reflected in increase in overall value for the property.

There will be exemptions available particularly for flats where the cost of any upgrades need to be shared among several owners and some owners refuse to contribute and also where costs are in excess of £5000. Further good news is that Government grants may well be available for some of the more costly work.

Some simple changes that can be made including ensuring that all lights have energy saving bulbs and that lofts and roof spaces are fully insulated to the correct level and that any hot water cylinders are fully insulated.

We are reviewing the EPC ratings for our clients’ properties and informing them of any possible need to upgrade and how they can best achieve this. This is information that, as well as keeping them in line with regulations, will make their properties more attractive to tenants and can increase the value of the property.

For further reading, full details of the regulations and possible exemptions can be found on the Scottish Goverment’s website.

If you have a question, would like an expert opinion or a free valuation please get in touch with us.